How important is it that you are a member of a Church?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by TaliOrlando, May 27, 2008.

  1. TaliOrlando

    TaliOrlando
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    How important is it that you are a member of a Church?

    I ask that because a friend of mine, gave me kind of like a warning telling me that before I go and preach or minister to people, I have to make sure I am under a main Church or a member of one. He says, its extremely important to be under a covering. I didnt get it?
     
  2. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    I would tell him that I was a member of a Church, the one true Church, Christs body. And furthermore I had the only support that I needed, and command.

    This is a command not only to the Apostles, but every disciple, which all the members of the one true Church are.

    M'r:16:15: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    Other than that, what he told you is what you will hear from almost any organization. This is the delusion of organized religion, to keep its members in order. And of course paying their tithes.
     
  3. TaliOrlando

    TaliOrlando
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    Why do most Churches as for that though, like if you are invited to preach, they will ask for your Pastor's name and credential's as times. If you dont have any, many will look at you like your crazy. Why is this? Also, what is this covering thing, I dont get it... spiritual covering.

    I even read one pastor who said that if you are Christian who actually has a Pastor and belongs to a Church, you are a Spiritual Bastard. I was like Huh???

    So why do most feel that its wrong for you to visit Churches and Attend Bible studies to Churches you dont belong to or also that before you visit any Church you have to ask for your Pastors permission and if he says nope, then nope it is.
     
  4. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    Most pastors don't like for their members to attend other Churches, or unsupervised Bible studies, for fear you will learn some strange doctrine. And therefore carry it back into the Church, that does happen believe me.

    I know from my experience on the web, that most of the people who do not attend a Church, are the ones that have some really off the wall ideas.

    It's possibly better to hold a more or less correct doctrine, even if it doesn't agree with someone elses.

    Like myself I primarily am Baptist, I was raised in a Baptist Church. Although I now have some small differences in opinion (which most Baptists do anyway), I at least got a start on the right foot. Even in the mainline Protestant churches, there is quite a bit of difference in some of their basic doctrines.

    Its better to be one or the other, than to be a mix of a lot of different doctrines. My non-denominational status, is not because so much a difference in doctrinal opinion, as it is for other reasons.

    The spiritual Bastard thing, sounds to me like the Pentecostal "Touch not my anointed" thing, when you question one of them as to their ideas.
     
  5. Zenas

    Zenas
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    You've got to be kidding. My pastor would no more tell me, or any other member, to stay away from another church than he would try to fly to the moon. Of course if I stayed away too long he might ask where I've been but would never tell me I need to get back on the reservation--or else. If your pastor is such a control freak that he must dictate what churches you visit, maybe you ought to look for another church. Now, having spoken my piece on this, I don't know see how you could do a whole lot of visiting around. If you have time to do this, perhaps you should seek to be of service in your home church. There are many jobs that need to be done--parking lot greeter, nursery worker, inside greeter, Sunday School attendance tabulator, bus driver, Power Point operator, usher, parking lot patrol, to name a few.

    As for the OP, church membership may not be the sine qua non of Christianity but it comes mighty close. We are told to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together and for good reason. All the work of the first Christians was done through the church. If there was no church in the area where they were working, they started one. The entire New Testament after the gospels is an account of Christ's work through His church. To be sure, there were influential individuals--Peter, Paul, Apollos, James, etc.--but they were all a part of the church. If the apostles found it appropriate to belong to a church, who are we to say we can do just fine going it alone?
     
    #5 Zenas, May 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2008
  6. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    Likewise, my congregation's pastor would have nothing to do with telling me to stay away from other congregations. He could probably compile a list of unpleasant things he would prefer over suggesting such a thing.

    Nonetheless, I do find it important to assemble. Hebrews 10:24-5 says
    “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, |not giving up| our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (NASB|TNIV|NASB).​
    I take this to mean that ideally we should have a group of Christians to regularly assemble with.

    As far as `formal' membership, I am a `formal' member of my congregation. Still, I think that such processes can have their merits and their problems.

    I think it is good for a church congregation to have a way of knowing who is committed to the congregation, versus those who have not made that decision. This enables the congregation leaders and workers to know whom they can turn to regarding a need. I also think it is wise to allow only those who are committed to the congregation to make decisions that have long-term consequences for the congregation.

    The problem I do have about `formal' membership is how I have seen it misused. Done wrong, it creates a caste system in the congregation. The `good caste' is those who are members, and the `lower caste' is those regular attenders who are not members. This is worsened when `formal' membership is not open to all Christians.

    This does not mean that I do not believe having a `home congregation' is important. I have quoted Hebrews 10:24-5 above.

    When you have chosen a home congregation, it does not mean that you avoid other congregations. To so do is a dangerous first step to factionism.
     
  7. Outsider

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    Hi all,
    I feel it is very important to belong to a church. As previously mentioned, it is more important to belong to THE CHURCH. But, I do feel that the churches were set up to reach people and for a place for believers to fellowship. From experience, I have found that while witnessing to people outside of church, the question is sure to arise... "What church do you belong to"?

    When the answer is "Oh I don't belong to any one church, I belong to THE CHURCH", it turns many people off, even if it is true.

    I do not think that it is essential to belong to any one church to go to heaven, but in order to labor for Christ, I do believe it is neccessary to belong. I find it hard to believe that Christ would save someone and then instruct them not to join a body of believers for people to see....

    It has been my experience, that most people that say it isn't important, usually don't. They often give all kinds of excuses, but in most cases, they just simply don't want to go. I know there are some true exceptions, but again, I am speaking on what I have seen first hand.

    I do not get caught up in denominations, I find that the Lord has His children in many different church denominations. Wherever the Lord sends one of His children, thats where they should go.

    Just my thoughts. God bless!!!
     
  8. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    I agree. So many of the biblical references to "the church" would seem to make little sense if applied solely to the church worldwide, rather than to a local church. "Calling for the elders of the church" (James 5.14) and "the whole church coming together in one place" (1 Corinthians 14.23) are just 2 examples. Then there is 1 Thessalonians 5.12-13:

    12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

    In order to believe that local church membership is not needed, we would also have to believe that the elders of every local church are "over us in the Lord".
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    The local church is important because Jesus established it as the principal entity through which the gospel is to be spread, worship is to take place, ministry is to be performed, teaching is to be done and fellowship is promoted.

    Paul said in Acts 20:28 that Jesus purchased the church at Ephesus with his own blood. By extension, he purchased my congregation with hsi blood as well.

    To act independently of a local New Testament church is to reject the one organization the Lord Christ himself founded to carry out the Great Commission. It is to say that you do not wish to be held accountable to anyone, particularly those whom God has placed in his congregations as overseers. It is to reject the scriptural admonition to give honor to those who have that oversight.

    Paul did not reject it. The greatest apostle, with Silas and Barnabas, went under the auspices of the church at Antioch, and reported back to them.

    To claim the right act because of one's membership in the "One True Church," the "Body of Christ," presumably meaning the "Universal Church," is claim authority from a non-existent entity. The Universal Church is a fantasy, which has no reason for existence. It it does exist, it is irreparably divided, dysfunctional and filled with those who hold to theological error.

    Paul himself described the local congregtion at Corinth as "the body of Christ." (I Cor 12;27)

    Paul wrote to more than one congregation to correct them, so they aren't perfect.

    One day, we believers will all gather as the great General Assembly in the presence fo God. Until it does assemble, there are only local congregations, uniquely formed to carry out the Great Commission.
     
  10. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    I agree with much of your post, but disagree with some. I have to disagree here.

    Matthew 16:15-8 has -- emphases mine
    "I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it’” (TNIV|ASV|TNIV).​
    Acts 2:47 examples how
    the Lord added to them day by day those |who were being saved” (ASV|NASB)​
    Acts 5:14 elaborates with
    "believers were added to the Lord" (ESV).​
    The Greek word translated "church" is used similarly with regard to the community of followers of Pythagoras.* Per Acts 11:26, "Christians" is a rename of "disciples" (KJV) "followers" (ICB). The Greek translated "disciples" or "followers" is plural for "one who follows one's teachings."**

    Hence, when Jesus Christ said "I will build my church" -- singular -- He was saying that He would build His ONE community of followers. The Lord does this by adding "believers" to it. All "believers" = "those who" are "being saved" are added to the Lord's "my church" -- ONE singular church.

    As you aptly pointed out, this teaching gets abused by people seeking to self-excuse themselves of their obligation to assemble with other Christians. Abusing a teaching does not invalidate it. Also, taking one teaching of Scripture and using it to self-excuse oneself from a directive of Scripture is wrong.

    There are not "only local congregations" to do Christ's work here. There are also individual Christians.

    Of course, for those individual Christians to be doing as they should, they should follow Hebrews 10:24-5 emphases mine
    “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, |not giving up| our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (NASB|TNIV|NASB).​
    The purpose of such assembly is "let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds" and reiterated with "encouraging one another."

    The New Testament-era Christians did that. The only exception recorded in Scripture is the Ethiopian official of Acts 8, because his regular life had him going away from established congregations. For the rest of the New Testament, we see such things as "the church at __." Portions of the church were getting together in various localities. This practice started with the very first Christians at Jerusalem in Acts 2.

    To be doing what we should in the `universal church,' we should be assembling ourselves together with a local group of believers.

    ___________
    *Arndt, Gingrich, et al, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, page 240.
    **Vine, et al, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, page 171 NT.[/QUOTE]
     
    #10 Darron Steele, May 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2008
  11. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    Here is a little something I wrote, read it, and after if you want to throw stones; feel free.


    There have been discussions about attending Church, as a body of believers. Some feel this is a must, thats fine, but in doing so you may be neglecting that which comes first, and foremost.

    We each have an obligation, that obligation is to our own first. If you can’t care for your own, how then can you truly care for others.

    You can attend the best Church, and put your kids in a youth group, to be nurtured by others. I personally don’t believe in youth groups. God is no respecter of persons, and that includes young, or old!. We are all under the same authority, that! being Jesus Christ. We talk about peer pressure, are we not all under peer pressure, that’s part of the Christian life, and it makes no difference about age. If you are not under peer pressure, perhaps there is a reason?. The world loves its own, but the world does not love God.

    People talk about the morality of this, or any other country. The problem starts at home, Christ is - except for an hour or two a week, shut out of out homes. How then, cannot! we expect a decline in morals.

    Each member of the body of Christ has an obligation, to teach those under his authority, yes that’s what I said authority. We need to have a time! of Bible reading/teaching, and prayer in out own home, a time of togetherness in the Lord. We need to teach our kids, and other family members Christ does not live in their Cell-Phones, I-Pods, despicable Video Games, Money, and all the other little toys Satan! has so graciously provided. To draw the world! away from God.

    There is an old saying “ you may take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”, this is a true saying. But at least! you have done your part, and no one can be blamed for that.

    There is another saying “he who dies with the most toys wins”, this is not a true saying, and comes from the pit of Hell.

    So you talk about attending a Church, well your first Church is right there in your own house. If that is not a house of God, then the one down by the way side, has fallen far short of fulfilling that description, and duty. And that! one needs cleaning up too.

    May God have mercy on our souls.
     
  12. David Lamb

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    I hope you don't consider my reply here as "throwing stones"; that is not intended - just some thoughts on what you wrote.

    As I see it, this thread is not about attending a church, but about membership of a church, with its attendant responsibilities and privileges. I believe that Christians should be members of a local church. Praise God if we have families in which all are converted, but not all are in that happy situation. Although we can and must witness to our families, we cannot make them into Christians; that is God's work.

    I would be interested to know what biblical basis you have for saying that our house is a church.
     
  13. donnA

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    There is no accountability without a church affilation. As we've seen in the world of false teachers, seperation from a local body can be dangerous to the gospel.
     

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